Billboard Bits: Bonnie Raitt, SDRE, Britney/Justin

News on Bonnie Raitt, SDRE, Britney/Justin

Bonnie RaittBonnie Raitt has pleaded guilty to trespassing charges from an anti-logging protest at a wood products company. The singer and 16 other activists from the Rainforest Action Network were arrested July 25 on disorderly conduct charges after refusing to leave the parking lot of Boise Cascade Office Products in Itasca, Ill. The San Francisco-based environmental group has accused Boise Cascade of logging ecologically vital old-growth timber.

Yesterday (Oct. 2), the activists negotiated a deal to plead guilty to less serious trespassing charges. DuPage County Judge George Sotos then fined each activist $150 and sentenced each to 90 days of court supervision.

"I hoped to bring attention to the right all Americans have to peacefully express their opinion in the form of civil disobedience," Raitt said. "We exercised our right in a peaceful way."

Boise Cascade officials declined to comment on the court action but said the environmental group was distorting the company's record on logging old-growth timber. Less than 3 percent of the wood the company processes comes from old-growth forests, company spokesman Mike Moser said.

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The strange saga of modern rock outfit Sunny Day Real Estate continues to unfold. Three members of the group, which in June broke up for the second time in its nearly 10-year career, have reconvened in their Seattle hometown to begin work on a new album. The catch: bassist Nate Mendel, who exited in 1995 to join Foo Fighters, is back in the fold, while guitarist Dan Hoerner is not. According to the the group's official Web site , SDRE drummer William Goldsmith has laid down drum tracks for 15 new songs, and frontman Jeremy Enigk has begun work on keyboard, vocal, and guitar parts. The new group has no name or label affiliation, but the forthcoming album will be produced by Brad Wood, who was behind the boards for SDRE's first two Sub Pop albums in 1994 and 1995. The group's last album, "The Rising Tide," was released in 2000 by Time Bomb and debuted at No. 97 on The Billboard 200.

Britney Spears and her boyfriend, 'N Sync's Justin Timberlake, are known for their sexy, flashy music videos -- but their home videos aren't nearly so exciting. Police said there was nothing scandalous on a tape stolen from the couple's Destin, Fla., vacation home last month. "The tapes were very boring," said Okaloosa County sheriff's spokesman Rick Hord. Deputies who viewed the video said it contained ordinary vacation scenes and that Spears is not in it for very long, Hord said. It includes footage taped inside a car while driving through Alabama, some shots of the house the couple and their families rented in Destin, a Gulf Coast resort city, and scenes of people playing on the beach, he said. Four teenagers who broke into the house on Sept. 22 took the tape, and a suspect reportedly was copying it when sheriff's deputies arrested him. "The copy was destroyed and the original was returned," Hord said. The tape is not in evidence, so it is not public record. Mayor Ken Beaird sent Spears flowers and a letter of apology, asking the pop singer to consider vacationing in Destin again. He hasn't gotten a response but said he doesn't expect one. "I just wanted them to know that that's not Destin, the way they were treated," Beaird said.

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